Thread snappage question…

When I started sewing my hand pieced hexagons together I just used some polyester Gutermann thread in white that I had lying around (on the right below), but I noticed that the thread sort of stretched out as I sewed with it, and the end became slightly untwisted and was prone to cause tangles if I didn’t regularly snip the end off.

Remembering that I’d been recommended in the past to use cotton thread for patchwork (which I have not done so far), so when I was in spotlight I bought a spool of white cotton thread to try that instead (again Gutermann). However, I’ve tried sewing with it a bit now, and it’s REALLY prone to snapping while I’m sewing. Has anyone had any experience with this? Am I doing something wrong? Do you have any advice on which type of thread to use for hand sewing?


  1. Mel Conomikes

    When I bought my Bernina last year they said to only use Mettler thread, not Guterman. This is for general machine sewing though. Personally, I haven't really noticed a difference in practice although you can see that the Gutermann is a bit lumpy and irregular when you compare them side by side. Sorry I can't be of more practical help! Hope to see you again if the Burda Club gets back together! Mel

  2. whatktmadenext

    I use Gutermann for machine and hand sewing (mainly sewing down bindings) and haven't had a problem with it snapping (yet – I bet typing this condemns my next project to regular breakage!).

    I use cotton thread for most things, but have started using silk thread for applique as it seems to blend into the fabric better. I've also got some hand-quilting thread, but it's got a horrible texture to it and keeps getting tangled. So, ramble over, no I don't get that problem (on any of the thread types) and don't really know what to suggest, sorry!

  3. Margaret @ Konstant Kaos

    A lot of people recommend cotton on cotton thread because both material and stitching will disintegrate at the same rates.

    I use Rasant 120 for the majority of my patchwork work, especially quilting. ( I would check the size of your needle, as that might make a difference.

  4. Bellgirl

    Mettler was recommended by a Husqu'varna salesperson as better quality than Gutermann. The polyester thread will be stronger, but as Margaret says above, cotton is often recommended for patchworks with cotton fabric. I think Helene and Margaret from the MMQG may use the Rasant thread, you could ask them where they get it.

  5. timelady

    I have been having exactly the same issues, and was wondering if my technique was so bad. I know my machine dislikes the polyester, so I was hoping to use it in my hand quilting. I can, but with the frequent snapping, it gets a tad tedious!

  6. Annie

    I do a lot of hand piecing and have found Coats cotton thread (50) is excellent. It sounds crazy but it makes a difference which way you thread the needle – the thread runs much more smoothly in one direction than the other. To make sure I have the knot at the right end, once I have threaded my needle I pull the thread up through my thumb and forefinger (mimicking the sewing action). I try with one end of the thread longest then the other end longest. Once I'm happy I"m pulling in the smooth direction I tie a knot at the end. Using the thread like this solves a lot of problems but I gave up on Gutermann thread a long time ago – better quality thread is well worth the investment. Hope this makes sense!

  7. Pammie

    My recommendation after taking my couture hand stitching class is to use beewax (and ironed!) (only for certain stitches) – I think patchwork would qualify. . . I don't use it for fell stitches but do for picked zippers, for example, and the Gutermann cotton is a dream – I do about 15 strands at a time if I am handsewing about hand to elbow length. Good luck!!

    P.S. For quilting I've seen "thread conditioners" which ease the cotton through the fabric and relieve tangles.


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